Four members of Congress made similar announcements that they have plans to retire, raising concerns in both parties.
Reps. Brad Wenstrup (R- Ohio.), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), and Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va). revealed in separate announcements on Thursday that they would not be seeking re-election in 2024.
“For eleven years, people have called me Congressman,” Wenstrup said in a video posted to X, formerly known as Twitter. “But, that’s only part of who I am. I’ve been the physician who took care of people in Greater Cincinnati for more than two decades, I’ve been the proud soldier, an army surgeon who treated military heroes both in Iraq and here at home. My family and the good people of southern Ohio call me Brad, my two kids just call me Dad.”
Wenstrup, who has served in Congress since 2013, currently chairs the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic. He also serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“Sadly, all too often the frantic pace of Washington has kept me away from our home,” Wenstrup added. “I’m ready to change that. So, I want you to hear it from me first. I’ll be retiring from Congress at the end of next year. I’m just a fortunate guy who’s been blessed with a wonderful wife, and two loving children.”
A heartfelt message. pic.twitter.com/XshgO24H5t
— Brad Wenstrup (@bradwenstrup) November 10, 2023
Kilmer, who was first elected to Congress in 2012, revealed in a statement that he would be stepping down to spend more time with his family.
“As nourishing as this job has been, it has come with profound costs to my family,” Kilmer wrote. “Every theatrical performance and musical recital I missed. Every family dinner that I wasn’t there for. The distance I felt from my family for months after the events of January 6th.
It has been one of the great honors of my life to serve as the Representative for Washington's 6th District in Congress. I’m proud of what we have accomplished – but it is time for the next chapter. I will not seek re-election in 2024.
Read my full statement here: pic.twitter.com/6dJLMT1xCo
— Rep. Derek Kilmer (@RepDerekKilmer) November 9, 2023
Kilmer has served as a member of the New Democrat Coalition and serves on the House Appropriations Committee. For four years, Kilmer led the Modernization Committee.
He currently represents Washington’s 6th Congressional District which leans solidly Democratic.
BREAKING: Brian Higgins, who has represented Buffalo and much of Western New York in Washington for nearly two decades, appears to be stepping down to take the top job at Shea's Performing Arts Center, sources told News 4. https://t.co/QBmk7Parky
— News 4 Buffalo (@news4buffalo) November 9, 2023
Higgins was also reported to be stepping down from his position, according to WIVB 4.
The congressman from New York, who has represented the people of Buffalo and Western New York since 2005 is reportedly stepping down to take a position as president of Shea’s Performing Art Center.
“I’ve heard the same rumor now for a couple of months, and it does appear that something is in the works and might develop in the near future,” Ken Kruly of Politics and Stuff told WBEN.
While a timeline for Higgins to step down has not been provided, it is rumored to be announced next week, sources told the outlet.
If Higgins steps down prior to the 2024 election, a special election would need to be held to fill his seat.
To the West Virginians who have put their trust in me and fought side by side to make our state better – it has been an honor of my life to serve you. Thank you. My statement on my political future: pic.twitter.com/dz8JuXAyTL
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) November 9, 2023
Manchin has served in the Senate since winning a special election in 2010. His Democratically held Senate seat has been viewed as vulnerable in a red-leaning state.
When asked earlier this year what his plans were for re-election, Manchin admitted that he was unsure.
“After months of deliberation and long conversations with my family, I believe in my heart of hearts that I have accomplished what I set out to do for West Virginia,” Manchin said in a video announcement posted to X. “I have made one of the toughest decisions of my life and decided that I will not be running for re-election to the United States Senate.”
Manchin’s announcement comes as it has previously been rumored that he may launch a third-party presidential bid.
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